I just met some friends who are visiting from Hong Kong. Based on their comments, the situation in Hong Kong is only getting worse when viewing it from economic and culture viewpoints. The streets are now empty as commerce is fading while graffiti is painted on walls of otherwise clean shopping areas. Even the bank ATM machines of Chinese-based banks are vandalized and destroyed, some even burned. One friend often visits a famous sports and Chinese health massage shop that was three full floors in size always filled with customers. This shop now occupies only on one floor and is empty every day.
In short, business is now grinding down and there are few signs of businesses showing true confidence – clients are not expected to show up and this is reflected on the faces of the local staff. The sobering reality is that that shop-keepers and managers have given up on 2019, as they are watching the local economy fade away. Usually a very clean and orderly city, the shock comes when one walks into a normally busy area and shops are closed with paint and slogans on the wall, “Go to xxxx China” or even worse. These ghost-town situations are now in most parts of the city and from the view of one friend, there will be far fewer visitors to Hong Kong in 2019 and the beginning of 2020. It is in the best interest of both parties to now sit down and start talks, otherwise this 4-month protest could spiral into street violence. Of course, in the end, the government will ensure that everybody falls in line.